Exploring Buddhist Teachings and Spirituality in Female Entrepreneurs' Business Decisions in Sri Lanka: The Foundational Role of the Five Precepts


  • L.E.A.N. Perera
  • H.A.K.N.S. Surangi




Female entrepreneurship is one of the main drivers of economic and social development in any country. Over the years, a great deal of research has been conducted in the area of female entrepreneurship. However, to date, there has not been much discussion of female entrepreneurs' religious behaviour. Hence, this study examines the nature of female entrepreneurs' religious behaviour and how Buddhist teachings and spirituality influence female entrepreneurs' business decisions throughout start-ups and the ongoing business operations. Although Buddhism is a vast literature, this study focuses mainly on the five precepts. This study is based on social constructionism philosophy, and narrative design was used to explore the female entrepreneurs' religious behaviour. A snowball sampling procedure was applied, and seven interviews were conducted to generate data for the study. This qualitative data analysis was complemented and supported by narrative in-depth interviews, observations and collected documents and field notes. Results revealed that Buddhist female entrepreneurs' business decisions are influenced by their religious teachings, especially the five precepts and religious spirituality. The main themes related to the start-up, operations and pricing, networks, profit sharing, finance, problem solving and sustainability. Further, female entrepreneurs have engaged in solid religious practices in businesses and personal lives since their childhood. Buddhist teachings and spirituality can be identified as the critical factor of Buddhist female entrepreneurs' business success and work-life satisfaction in Sri Lanka. The findings can facilitate and promote spiritual entrepreneurship among entrepreneurs. It is valuable to deepen our understanding of the role of Buddhist teachings and spirituality, which affects entrepreneurs' business decisions.


Buddhist teachings, Five Precepts, Buddhist spirituality, Female entrepreneurs, Business decisions, Qualitative